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Over 80% of women will experience debilitating menopause symptoms for more than one year[i] and many women will still experience symptoms seven years after their final period.[ii] Theramex believes that women should have equal access to treatment, and that all women should be offered a choice so they can access the best treatment for them.

Theramex has collaborated with clinicians across the country to raise awareness of the challenges women face in receiving menopause support in the UK and advocate for improved care. The launch of Theramex’s recent report, Tackling unequal access to menopause care, identifies the barriers preventing women from accessing women’s health services and showcases initiatives in place across the UK which aim to reduce these barriers. Alongside interviews with frontline clinicians, researchers from data company GPRX examined NHS prescribing data between different organisations, to identify gaps in access for women as a result of where they live, the wealth of their community or their ethnicity.

This report is the first step in Theramex’s latest campaign, Equal Health for Her, aiming to highlight the inequalities in, and improve the standards of, women’s health in the UK. Shining a light on the lottery of access to essential menopause care, this report highlights not only the scale of the issue, but also provides a set of data-led policy recommendations to take into the year ahead. Theramex hopes that decision-makers can implement these recommendations to address some of the barriers preventing women from accessing health services and treatment.

Insights and recommendations for this report can be found below.

Key insights

  1. The degree of information and training on menopause is varied across the country and often optional for clinicians
  2. There is a postcode lottery in accessing HRT and the quality of service – both in terms of geography and discrepancy in formularies and prescriptions
  3. There is a need for community engagement and community-led initiatives to raise awareness of menopause symptoms
  4. Different types of clinicians need education to ensure access to, and consistency of care
  5. Consultations are often not long enough or not accessible to some which prevents care from taking place


  1. Expand the scope and coverage of menopause training as part of the core curriculum for GPs
  2. Prioritise the commitment in the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (VPAG) to develop a local formulary national minimum dataset to identify where variation in local formularies may be creating barriers to access
  3. Concerted action at a local level is needed to raise awareness of menopause symptoms among patients by engaging with local communities and where applicable, the third sector
  4. Women’s health education and training for both GPs and the wider healthcare professional workforce should be prioritised. Healthcare professionals should also be encouraged by their practice to upskill themselves in this area and attend women’s health networking events
  5. Ensure greater integration of digital technology to streamline consultations and improve access to menopause care


[i] McKinlay, S. M. and Jefferys, M. The menopausal syndrome. Brit. J. prev. soc. Med. (1974), 28, 108-115.

[ii] Berecki-Gisolf, J. Begum, N. Dobson, A. Symptoms reported by women in midlife menopausal transition or aging? Menopause 16(5):p 1021-1029, 2009.